ORANGEBURG, NY — Continuing its ongoing commitment to domestic violence awareness and prevention, Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced the donation of 500 wireless phones to District Attorneys and Victim Services offices throughout New York City.
Beginning today, 100 wireless phones, including batteries and car adapters, will be donated in each of the city's five boroughs where they will be distributed to domestic violence victims in need of emergency communications. These latest donations mark the start of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October 1 - 31) and are part of the company's "Wireless at Work" community service program, which already has donated more than 800 phones to assist New York metro area residents at risk of repeated violence from their abusers. All phones are specially programmed to dial 9-1-1 at the touch of a button.
"Nearly one-third of American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives," said Charles Hand, president of Bell Atlantic Mobile's NY Metro region. "It is our hope that the large number of phones donated today will allow District Attorneys and Victim Services advocates to expand the population of women and children eligible to receive emergency communications."
In Brooklyn, the phones will allow District Attorney Charles Hynes to extend his office's wireless phone program to a number of under-served minority populations currently involved in a federal grant project.
In Manhattan, the phones will be divided among District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's Family Violence and Child Abuse Program and other local agencies including the Domestic Violence Crisis Center at St. Luke's Hospital and the network of shelters run by the Sanctuary for Families.
Staten Island District Attorney William Murphy said the additional phones will help his office provide emergency communications to victims of elder abuse, a growing but largely silent problem that plagues households throughout the region.
And in Queens and the Bronx, Victim Services' representatives will work with District Attorneys Richard A. Brown and Robert Johnson to distribute the phones to women who are afraid to leave their homes without a viable means to summon help in a crisis.
Hand said that the New York City donations are part of a national effort in which Bell Atlantic Mobile, in cooperation with Motorola and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association's "Call to Protect" program, will donate 2,500 phones throughout the company's service territory.
This month, Bell Atlantic Mobile also will donate $25,000 to the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) for its National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence, a groundbreaking collaboration between the FVPF, employers and unions across the country.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and systems in the Southwest, covering 180,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.6 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.
EDITORS NOTE: For more information about donations made in your area, please contact:
Brooklyn - Kevin Davitt (718-250-2300)
Staten Island - Marlene Markoe Boyd (718-876-5795)
Manhattan - Carol Stokinger (212-335-4301)
Queens/Bronx - Rhoni Lester (212-577-8293)